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Field Notebook


30 Nutrient Agars


Aluminum Foil

Conventional Oven

Sharpie Marker


10 Flags


30 Ziploc Bags


Soil Core Extractor




33 Pipets


50 Culture Tubes

Chemical Test Kit

Sterilized Water

Step – by – Step Instructions:

1. Find a location where there are observable moisture differences in the soil

2. Use observations to pick 5 different areas with different moisture levels located in the location found in step 1

* Take all soil samples at the same time on the same day*

3. Take one 15cm deep and 2cm wide soil sample using a soil extractor from each of the locations within the same time frame

4. Put samples in a labeled plastic bag according to its location                    

*Be sure to perform steps 5 - 7 at the same time*

5. Perform serial dilutions on all five samples up to the 10-4 dilution

6. Plate 100 µl of the dilutions 10-2, 10-3, and 10-4, on bacteria nutrient agar plates

7. Perform a manganese test on each of the soil samples               

8. Construct oven-safe weigh boats and put the remaining soil in the weigh boat




9. Weigh the soil in grams and oven safe weigh boat and record the data

10. Allow soil to sit in a place where sun shines for 24 hours

11. After soil sits for 24 hours, place in oven at 110°C and allow to bake in oven for 2½ hrs.

12. After 2½ hrs., allow the soil samples to cool and then re-weigh the baked soil in grams

13. Determine the difference between the soil samples before they were placed in the oven and afterwards 

Equation to determine the difference of samples:       

(Weight before oven — Weight after oven) ÷ Weight after oven = Total moisture level

14. Record the data

15. Repeat steps 3-14 once a day for two more days

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